When optimists thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. In the past 24 hours, after ranging between $3,800 and $4,200 for a week, Bitcoin (BTC) was suddenly subject to another spell of bear market fever, as the asset fell under $3,700, $3,600, and $3,500 in quick succession. BTC even established a new year-to-date low in the recent sell-off, breaching $3,350 on Coinbase in a bearish spasm.
Upon the re-arrival of selling pressure, which sent retail investors into an unrelenting furor, a myriad of industry participants asked what mustered bears into action — the million dollar question lingering about everyone’s mind.
SEC Delays Bitcoin ETF Ruling… Yet Again
Per previous reports from NewsBTC, a number of representatives from VanEck, SolidX, and CBOE’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) team recently rendezvoused with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This recent event, which is the second of its kind, saw VanEck’s digital asset team, headed by Gabor Gurbacs, consult with the American entity’s Economic Risk Analysis division on the matter of a crypto-backed ETF.
The hopefuls drew attention to a 62-part slide deck, which outlined the vehicle proposed and the rationale behind its potential approval. VanEck’s representative, doing his utmost to calm the SEC’s fears of manipulation, low-liquidity, and bad actors in crypto markets, then told the financial regulator that Bitcoin isn’t only “resilient,” but operates in a “well-functioning capital market” as well.
Aiming to butter up the SEC, VanEck even lauded CBOE’s trading infrastructure, which the instrument will be coupled with, for its speed, security, and ability to stay in compliance with the local financial legislature.
Yet, even after the reportedly successful closed-door meeting, the SEC delayed its decision on the application for the umpteenth time, and in the midst of a crypto bear market no less. In an SEC-stamped document published Thursday afternoon, the governmental agency claimed that it would be exercising its right to delay a verdict on the application until February 27, 2019.
Although the release of this document didn’t directly produce any red candles, such a decision likely instilled some semblance of fear in naive investors. Speaking with Bloomberg on the impact of negative industry developments, Timothy Tam, CEO of CoinFi, stated:
“Sentiment in the [crypto] market is really bad, any negative news has an exponential effect.”
However, some have taken to Twitter to discredit the sentiment that the SEC’s recent ruling had an effect on the market at large. On Twitter, Joseph Young, a NewsBTC editor, noted that the document was “expected” and “common sense,” adding that BTC didn’t stumble under $3,500 as a result of the 81-day delay.
Still, the multi-year Bitcoin ETF saga, which has stuck with crypto through the thick and thin, will likely remain an industry-wide flavor of the foreseeable future, so to speak.
Analysts Claim That Bottom Isn’t In
While opinions regarding the Bitcoin ETF delay and its effect on the market are a mixed bag, a number of analysts have maintained that BTC hasn’t established its long-term bottom, even after an 83% decline from its all-time high.
Michael Bucella, a partner at industry juggernaut BlockTower Capital, claimed crypto’s near-year-long “distress cycle” is nearing its climax. The former Goldman Sachs executive, referencing BTC’s historical price fluctuations, subsequently pointed out that the last leg of crypto downturns are normally the most volatile, yet short-lived. And while he was reluctant to forecast a bottom, Bucella clearly accentuated his thought process that bears aren’t done with BTC yet.
Vinny Lingham, CEO of Civic, recently issued a similar comment, claiming that he expects for BTC to range between $3,000 and $5,000 for months, before adding that a foray below the former price level isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Lingham, known for incessantly calling for a “Crypto Winter,” claimed that Bitcoin’s underlying narrative has been misconstrued over time, which has allowed up-and-coming blockchains to gain on the crypto industry’s first.
Although commentators haven’t come to a consensus on the point at which BTC will bottom, it is evident that the cries for “lower lows” are still commonplace.